One of my personal treasures is a humble cookbook put together by the Jasper County Home Extension Association. It was published in 1972, cost $2.00 and contains recipes from many people I know and love. Many of these great cooks are busy in heaven now, but I still remember them fondly when I see their names and recipes in this book.
These women were farm wives who raised big gardens alongside their big families and who packed big picnic lunches to take to the county fair and to many family reunions every summer. They didn't buy convenience foods.
Their children were not regulars at the local fast food places because there were no fast food places in the community in 1972. There was a very busy Dog 'N Suds, but we never ate there. Teenagers did drive around it over and over and over and over again on Friday and Saturday nights. Good times!
Yeeks. I might have been one of them. Time is passing, people.
Anyhoo. A few years ago, my cookbook disappeared and I was heartbroken. My boys' favorite meatloaf recipe was in this book, our traditional birthday cake, my mom's rolls and many other goodies we loved to eat.
It took a while, but my mixing bowls and I finally moved on and I quit automatically reaching for it.
My cooking luck changed when my mother-in-law downsized and moved down the road from us. She found a copy of this very same cookbook packed among her basement stash. This copy had belonged to her own mother.
I am now the proud owner.
My copy has Grandma Pitchers penciled notes, recipes torn out of magazines, and hand written gems from her friends she added to the back.
Talk about a treasure!
I want to share with you a recipe from this book that my mom is famous for-at least in our family and extended family. These rolls are easy and almost never fail. I like to make them ahead of time and follow the directions up to the second rising. I place them on parchment paper (not touching one another) and freeze them individually. After they are frozen, I put them in baggies and take out what I need, let them thaw and rise and bake as needed.
I think you and your family will LOVE them, too! The dough is a dream to work with, so this is a beginner friendly recipe.
Alice's Farmhouse Rolls
1 pkg. yeast
1/4 c. warm water
3/4 c. milk, scalded
1/2 c. butter ( I cut mine into chunks.)
1/2 c. sugar
1 t. salt
3 beaten eggs
4 1/2 c. flour
Soften yeast in warm water. Combine milk, butter, sugar and salt. Cool to lukewarm. Add yeast mixture and mix well. Add eggs, then flour, Mix to smooth, soft dough. Knead lightly on floured surface. Place dough in greased bowl, cover and let rise until double in bulk-about 2 hours or so.
Divide dough into thirds; roll each third on lightly floured surface to 9" circle. Brush with melted butter. Cut each circle in 12 wedge-shaped pieces. Roll each wedge, starting with wide end and rolling to the point. Arrange rolls in a greased baking pan. Cover and let rise till very light-an hour or so. Bake in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush with butter.
Since you are the one removing them from the oven, be sure to grab a crusty one from a corner-delicious. If you are lucky you might have some homemade cherry jam from your sweet mother in law to smear on top. SWEET!